The prognosis for the Asian insurance sector is stable, with measured growth stemming from a steadying of the region’s economies, rising incomes, demographic factors and a resurgence in China. Other emerging markets - including India, where penetration levels are low - also hold strong potential for insurers and investors. Innovation is disrupting and transforming business models and delivery processes, with access to data analytics helping to streamline operational practices and enhancing customer experiences. Though Insurtech is at a nascent stage in Asia, the opportunities for growth are attracting investors.
This potential is not without difficulties. For insurers and their asset managers, generating sufficient returns on investment is a worry. Hurdles such as hedging costs and lack of skilled personnel can deter investment in overseas markets that might bring better returns, exacerbating the asset-liability tension. Moreover, tighter regulatory policies on asset liability management (ALM), corporate governance, solvency and accounting standards, among other aspects, should further test insurers, asset managers and other financial institutions.
Given the challenges, how can insurers maximise the returns and minimise the risks in a steady but evolving environment? Since different countries have different regulations, to what extent is an understanding of local rules critical for successful investment strategies in Asia? How essential is cooperation between actuarial and investment teams, and greater transparency on risk? How are new technologies helping to create new products that reflect local needs? In what way are companies meeting the associated cyber-risks?
FT Asia Insurance Summit: Seeking strategies for growth will address these important issues for an industry with deep potential. Now in its fifth year, the summit will bring together leading insurers, regulators, asset managers and technology experts from Asia to discuss the best strategies to invest in a huge market where innovation and technology can bring both opportunity and risk.